Joseph Nye says it's time for Americans to redefine their idea of leadership. Nye, the inventor of the term "soft power," is out with a new book titled "The Powers to Lead," in which he argues that in the information age, the old approach of leadership by command, or "hard power," is outdated. He says the most effective leaders know how to balance coercion with charisma ... "hard" and "soft" power ... and they know when and how much to use of each.
He says Americans tend to be too "one-dimensional" in their idea of power and leadership. Here's what he said in a recent speech at the Commonwealth Club of California, featured on Word for Word:
"We tend to think about leadership in terms of what I sometimes call the big man, the man with certain traits, the decider, the decisive person, but that's not the right way to think about leadership. Leadership depends on a leader, followers and context in which they interact."
Is it political suicide for politicians to publicly advocate the use of "soft power"? Do Americans see "soft power" as wimpy? How does someone learn how to balance "hard" and "soft" power? Have any of our leaders used an appropriate balance of these different styles? What are the qualities of an effective leader? What's the most effective approach to leadership -- the best way to get people to do things?